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Ricki Ortiz of Evil Geniuses was always stuck in a crisis of sorts in Street Fighter IV. Known for her Rufus play, she was always a strong player near the top. However, she was never fully able to capitalize on the biggest events, with her highest placement at Evolution being 2nd in 2010, and 9th at Capcom Cup in 2014. But with a new game and a familiar character, has Ricki found everything she needs to decimate the pack?
Let’s Get it on Now
Ricki was most known for her play in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, before her Rufus was pushed to the forefront during the Street Fighter IV era. While Ortiz was able to bring out Chun-Li in the IV series in certain matchups, she never dedicated herself to the character like others, possibly owing to the difficult matches Chun-Li had against the highest competitive tiers in the game.
However, if there was ever a game to return to Chun-Li in, Street Fighter V is it. Her aggressive style play in 3rd Strike–we’re seeing similar from her this time around. While being able to react well, she also makes really strong reads on her opponents’ wake-ups that allow her to push the tempo of the match.
But not only does she have this, but she has a good presence of mind on her own wake-up, which allows her to escape various situations that could cost her matches. She plays a solid game, and should make some strong decisions in Capcom Cup.
On the Prowl
Another thing that you can definitely say about Ricki is her ability to never be out of contention. Out of 28 events, she has placed top 8 in 19 of them. This strong consistency has what kept Ricki in the hunt for a Capcom Cup berth for the entirety of the season.
Stats, Stats, Stats
But while those stats are impressive, there’s one that denotes her placement in Capcom Cup. Out of those 19 top eights, she has only won one event at Defend the North. Making top 8 is no easy feat, and I refuse to scoff at the ones she did make. However, not closing tournaments out does not garner any confidence that she will bring the title home for America for the first time.
But to further compound her issues going into Anaheim, we have to look at her performance at the Asia Regional Finals. This will definitely be a litmus test of how she is going to do at Capcom Cup, as she is currently projected to play ZOWIE|GamerBee first round, and potentially either Tokido or Yukadon should she dispatch of the ‘Bee.
At the Asia Finals, she was able to take out HM|Go1 in the first round. She then subsequently lost to MOV in the 2nd round of winners bracket, then lost to HuoMaoTV|HumanBomb to end her run at 1-2. While this won’t build a lot of confidence–and at least two of those three are at Capcom Cup as well–it should be taken with a grain of salt. She essentially was a Chun facing a legion of Chuns and fell to them, essentially proving to not be the best at the mirror.
Again, at Canada Cup, Ortiz was gliding along rather well, until she faced OR|Nuki–again a Chun mirror–who sent her out just shy of a 20th top 8. Again at The Fall Classic, Ricki found herself ousted in a mirror by CoinUp|Ludovic. She is a great player that falls to the mirror more often than not.
Ricki is a great player, but is she “Capcom Cup champion” great? Unlikely, doubly so should she face a fellow Chun-Li–of which there are possibly four others making their way to Anaheim.
She could easily make top 16, but I’ll guess that she goes 2-2 in this event.